And on the seventh day they shopped

by Kim on April 18, 2012 · 44 comments

We’re loading up on travel gear

This past weekend Brian and I spent a barf-worthy amount of money on items for our trip. Our travel savings took a pretty significant hit.  The upside?  We have a bunch of new toys that I will thoroughly enjoy just as soon as I get over the shock of my credit card bill.  (A note about credit cards: When we were working our way out of debt we did not use credit cards.  Now, we use our Capitol One Venture Rewards Card to earn air miles.  We pay it off in full at the end of each month).

We chose the Capitol One Venture Card because there are no foreign transaction fees and we earn two miles for every dollar

You might be thinking: Wait, aren’t they trying to get rid of their stuff?  Trust me, I’m wondering the same thing.  While I do not believe that anyone needs new SPF rated clothes and quick drying underwear to travel around the world, I fell victim to the magnetic pull of REI (again) while the siren song of Best Buy seduced Brian inside her doors.

A preview of our new stuff

Canon PowerShot S100

Brian has a DSLR camera but I wanted a point and shoot that takes professional grade photos and is compact enough to fit in my pocket.  After much research, I settled on the Canon PowerShot S100. It gets great reviews and is touted by many professional photographers as the best point and shoot out there.  I’m so excited to start using this baby.

Apple MacBook Air

Oh, yes we did!  We’re the proud new owners of an 11-inch MacBook air. This computer is small, light, pretty, and fits in my Pacsafe purse. The built-in features and photo editing applications make this purchase worth it, in my book.

New clothes

This Kaylee Dress by REI is comfortable, cute and lightweight.  Add to it a touring skirt, a wicking, fast-drying shirt, travel pants, two bathing suits and some uber-expensive-but-apparently-worth-it quick drying underwear and I’ve got a brand new wardrobe.



Brian and Kim in the buff(s)

Brian and I each bought a Buff to use when we backpack the Grand Canyon rim to rim.  Buffs are like bandannas on steroids and can be worn a dozen different ways.  They’ll keep the sun off of us when we backpack the U.S. southwest at the height of summer and will keep the wind from biting when we trek in the Tetons and South America (and beyond).  These puppies also double as headbands which will be useful as I limp through the awkward stages of growing out my hair.

 The Diva Cup

After boatloads of encouragement from travelers and already-converted friends I finally made the switch to the Diva Cup. The Diva Cup is a hospital-grade silicone cup used in place of tampons or menstrual pads. It takes a little getting used to (not much!) but I love that I won’t have to worry about lugging tampons all over the world.

Other new additions include…

An external hard drive for backing up our photos and documents, silk sleep sacks for those questionable beds we’ll be crashing in, Smartwool socks, a SteriPEN for backpacking in the U.S. (we may also take this abroad), and extra memory cards for the cameras.

Next up

A trial packing run in which we most likely learn that we’re taking way too much stuff.

Packing will be slightly tricky for us since we have one pile of items that we’ll only be using on our U.S. road trip (tent, sleeping bags, ground pads, etc.), one pile of items that we’ll only be using internationally (sleep sacks, medications) and one pile of items that we’ll be using both domestically and internationally (some clothing, hiking shoes, electronics, etc.).

For the record, the packs we’ll be using are the Osprey Porter 65 Litre Backpack (Kim) and the Osprey Exos 46-Liter Pack (Brian).  Yes, you can fit a middle-schooler in my pack.  Yes, I’ll probably regret it.

I’m not sure how to end this post except to say that we leave Oregon to start this adventure in 33 days!